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Garage heat

  1. #1
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Garage heat


    I have a slightly larger than 1 car garage, it's about 450 square feet. Non insulated on 3 walls. I have some work I need to get done on a track bike that I probably won't have time to do until this winter. I'm looking for some heating options that I can just run while I'm in there. Not looking to keep any heat in, just take the chill out while I'm in there. Once temperatures get real low, the inside and outside temperatures almost level off. It may be 10-20 degrees warmer than the outside but I've never really cared to measure exactly. Is there anything that I can run inside without killing my electric or gas bill? Is it even worth the time/ effort to pursue something like this? I have natural gas close by in my basement, and running it up to the garage wouldn't be a terrible idea, but it's slightly more of a project than I want to get in to just to use the heat a few times a year. Anyone got anything?

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  2. #2
    Nat Pixon! noxin's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    I've got a Mr Buddy Heater that runs on propane cylinders (either the small camping ones or a 20lb+ cylinder with an adapter). It has an O2/CO sensor so it theoretically won't kill you. If you use the big cylinders you're suppose to put it outside of the garage. Tractor Supply usually has them on sale for BlackFriday.

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  3. #3
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    it is surprising the amount of heat a Coleman dual mantle white gas lantern throws, as well as the light

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  4. #4
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Depending on what your budget is, a pellet stove is really the best option. Chimney is easy for it, for intermittent use the fuel is pretty damn cheap, and they start heating the space pretty quickly after starting it.

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  5. #5
    Lifer 01xj's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Quote Originally Posted by loudbeard View Post
    Depending on what your budget is, a pellet stove is really the best option. Chimney is easy for it, for intermittent use the fuel is pretty damn cheap, and they start heating the space pretty quickly after starting it.
    If and when the time ever comes to expand the garage, or maybe at the next house my plan is to buy a cheap one and go that route. We already have one for the house so it's a no brainer. But in my garage now I don't have the space to fit one in.

    That Mr. buddy heater looks like a good compromise. Hooking that up to a gas grill cylinder would be all I would need for an entire winter.

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    Last edited by 01xj; 11-19-17 at 05:17 PM.

  6. #6
    Lifer loudbeard's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    I have one of the big buddy heaters as well. Never used it in a garage but Iíve used it plenty in a tent in freezing temperatures and it does a decent job. Mine is supposed to be able to do 400 sq ft so in theory it does ok in the garage if you give it some time to heat up. The bulk cylinder hose is a must to run it for any length of time.

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  7. #7
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Petorius has a big buddy for sale. I've never used one.

    Linksy Mr. Heater Big Buddy (Tough Buddy)

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  8. #8
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Big buddy is great. Got my non-insulated, concrete-floored shed warm enough to complete a motor rebuild and several other projects last winter. It was really the only thing that put out enough heat to overcome the draft in my shed. Usually cranked it to high 30-60 minutes before starting to work then dropped it back to medium to maintain temp.

    Definitely want some ventilation, and a small electric heater can be nice to complement on a workbench or whatever.

    I went though several hundred propane canisters last winter to the tune of $800-900... kind of insane. Get them in 2 packs at Walmart for about $6.15. Found a larger propane tank to mount outside this year, probably more economical, but I was also putting a lot of hours into a certain project and practically lived out there for a month, lol. But that thing got me through some bitter cold nights.

    I did have to replace my Buddy twice though, most likely from clogging but I think they're just mass produced and I got unlucky. My current Buddy has been going strong since March-ish without a hiccup, sat all summer, and back in use again this month.

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  10. #10
    Lifer jasnmar's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Tekime View Post
    Big buddy is great. Got my non-insulated, concrete-floored shed warm enough to complete a motor rebuild and several other projects last winter. It was really the only thing that put out enough heat to overcome the draft in my shed. Usually cranked it to high 30-60 minutes before starting to work then dropped it back to medium to maintain temp.

    Definitely want some ventilation, and a small electric heater can be nice to complement on a workbench or whatever.

    I went though several hundred propane canisters last winter to the tune of $800-900... kind of insane. Get them in 2 packs at Walmart for about $6.15. Found a larger propane tank to mount outside this year, probably more economical, but I was also putting a lot of hours into a certain project and practically lived out there for a month, lol. But that thing got me through some bitter cold nights.

    I did have to replace my Buddy twice though, most likely from clogging but I think they're just mass produced and I got unlucky. My current Buddy has been going strong since March-ish without a hiccup, sat all summer, and back in use again this month.
    Hole E Fuck.

    I'm sorry. You see to be paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 per pound of propane. The market rate for propane should be significantly less than $1 per pound.

    There are plenty of adapters to get from large bottles to "cartridges" as well as ways to refill cartridges.

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  11. #11
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Anyone use a Kerosene heater like 23500 BTU Kerosene heater

    We have a 16x24 shed with a high pitch in NH. Says it will run 12 hours on 2 gallons.

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  12. #12
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Quote Originally Posted by jasnmar View Post
    Hole E Fuck.

    I'm sorry. You see to be paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 per pound of propane. The market rate for propane should be significantly less than $1 per pound.

    There are plenty of adapters to get from large bottles to "cartridges" as well as ways to refill cartridges.
    +1

    I have a Mr Buddy "portable buddy" heater I use in my garage. They sell an adapter cable for like $25 that adapts to a 20lbs tank effortlessly. Then get that thing refilled at your local hardware store.

    I found the portable unit not quite enough for a standard 2-car garage. Not surprising as the specs claim its good for about 200 square feet (ie a small 1-car). But it did take the edge off and make working on the bikes a little easier.

    I'm downsizing and losing my garage space. I'd sell my heater and the adapter hose. Call it $40 if you're interested. I also have the little adapter for refilling portable cylinders I'd throw in as well.

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  13. #13
    Lifer Falko's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Infrared heat is the way to go if you aren't going to be moving around much from one area. Normal heaters heat the air which in turn heats you. Also you get more wall losses because the air at the wall is warm. IR heats you directly. It works really well if your floor and work surface are a darker color.

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  14. #14
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Anyone use a Kerosene heater like 23500 BTU Kerosene heater

    We have a 16x24 shed with a high pitch in NH. Says it will run 12 hours on 2 gallons.
    Yes, for years. The one I have is older than I am, been in the family longer too. Works well enough. Kinda smells a little, but shouldn't be an issue in a shed.

    I still keep the old KeroSun around for emergency heat in a buddies basement. I've used it in the basement before. Reminds me, I need to find a replacement window for it. Original one was mica and has since cracked apart.

    I wouldn't expect it to do much in that shed of yours though. Maybe enough to take the bite out of the air, but I wouldn't expect it to get much above freezing without insulating the walls/ceiling.

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    Last edited by TheIglu; 11-20-17 at 09:02 AM.
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  15. #15
    Lifer Tekime's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Quote Originally Posted by jasnmar View Post
    Hole E Fuck.

    I'm sorry. You see to be paying somewhere in the neighborhood of $3 per pound of propane. The market rate for propane should be significantly less than $1 per pound.

    There are plenty of adapters to get from large bottles to "cartridges" as well as ways to refill cartridges.
    Didn't quite dawn on me just HOW dumb it was until I starting pulling out the empties this summer. Suffice to say I have a giant collection of empty steel bottles.

    I got a 20lb tank this summer just need to get it hooked up.

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  16. #16
    Member bassomatic's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Garandman View Post
    Anyone use a Kerosene heater like 23500 BTU Kerosene heater

    We have a 16x24 shed with a high pitch in NH. Says it will run 12 hours on 2 gallons.
    These things throw a LOT of heat for cheap. I used one similar to this as a main source of heat for a couple of winter months many years ago. Very little smell if the wick is in good shape. +1

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  17. #17
    Rust never sleeps. whynot's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    It's what you can't smell that will kill you.

    "Carbon monoxide, or CO, an odorless, colorless gas can cause sudden illness and death. CO is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned in a furnace, vehicle, generator, grill, or elsewhere. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces and poison the people and animals in them."

    CDC - Carbon Monoxide Poisoning - Program in Brief

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  18. #18
    Lifer Garandman's Avatar
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    Re: Garage heat

    Good reminder. CO is scary stuff, I’d definitely get a detector for the shed.

    May not do anything as the garage has a Modine Hot Dawg fueled from a 100 gallon tank so we can work there. Also have an “extra” wood stove, but it’s a soapstone stove, so a poor choice for temporary heat.

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